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Pirates Astros Looks Like A Pitchers Duel

A big homestand starts tonight at PNC Park


The Pirates probably feel good about their chances to get over .500 this weekend.  The Houston Astros are in the Burgh and the ‘Stros can give up some runs.  Actually a major league-worst 168 runs after Marty and his Reds put a 10-4 beatdown on them yesterday.  

The Astros look like they will play without Carlos Lee who is nursing his ribs

Wandy Rodriguez has not been a big help for his team as his 5.40 ERA in his first five starts indicates.  But……

The left-hander is coming off his best start of the season holding the Brewers scoreless and he is undefeated in his last three starts against the Pirates with a miniscule ERA of  0.77.  The southpaw has struckout 28 free swinging Pirates in 23.1 innings during those starts.

Last season wasn’t a pretty one for the Pirates when facing the Astros.  It was downright ownership actually.


Paul Maholm is on the mound for the Pirates.  Stop groaning.  Maholm has dominated the ‘Stros recently.  Maholm has a 1.52 ERA in the past seven at PNC Park against the Astros.  All Maholm needs is some run support which of course his teammates haven’t provided the left hander this season.  But with the Bucs jumping out early in games, as recently as their last game against lefty Clayton Richard, let’s trust they do the same for Paulie tonight against Houston who is 5-10 on the road this season.

We are interested in seeing what lineup Hurdle goes with tonight.  Even though it was mainly Pirates bench players in the rubber match lineup versus San Diego, Matt Diaz, Steve Pearce, and of course Ryan Doumit produced against Richard. 

As we discussed in the offseason, Doumit always hits well in the early months of the season, so let’s trust we see him as well as Diaz and Pearce/the lefty killers in Hurdle’s lineup because Lyle Overbay is wearing me out and the Caveman seems like his bat is coming to life.  Dewey sucks batting right handed, but I would still have him in the lineup as his hot months are quickly disappearing.

On paper it looks like a pitchers duel, but something tells me we will see some runs tonight.  I just trust the Bucs can score enough of them to get the homestand off on solid footing.

Maholm gave up just one run in 16 innings against the Astros at PNC Park in 2010


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Tags: Paul Maholm Pittsburgh Pirates

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